South Africa kept alive its hopes of qualifying for the quarterfinals of the 2019 Rugby World Cup following a 49-3 win against 14-man Italy at Shizuoka Stadium on Friday.
The South Africans ran in seven unanswered tries to claim a second successive win and go top of Pool B ahead of Italy and New Zealand.
The Springboks’ tries came courtesy of Cheslin Kolbe, who scored twice; Bongi Mbonambi, Lukhanyo Am, Makazole Mapimpi, RG Snyman and Malcolm Marx. Fly-half Handre Pollard added 14 points through the boot.
Tomasso Allan scored Italy’s only points through a penalty.
Italy lost prop Simone Ferrari in the third minute through a leg injury and he was replaced by Marco Riccioni. Riccioni, himself, left the field after 18 minutes for a head injury assessment, which he failed.
Tries from Kolbe and Mbonambi coupled with two conversions and a penalty from Pollard saw the Boks head into the break leading 17-3.
The Italians were reduced to 14 men three minutes after the restart after Andrea Lovotti was sent off for lifting Duane Vermeulen in a tackle and dropping him on his head.
Pieter-Steph du Toit had a try disallowed not long afterward as television replays showed that Boks captain Siya Kolisi had blocked Italian scrum-half Tito Tebaldi in the build-up.
Further tries from Am, Mapimpi, Snyman and Marx and another 7 points from Pollard saw the two-time world champions finish the must-win game on an emphatic note.
South Africa will next play Canada at the Misaki Park Stadium in Kobe on Tuesday.